Carole Baskin is one of the most controversial figures in recent times, and for good reason. The star of the hit Netflix docuseries, Tiger King, has been in the public eye for decades, thanks to her role as the founder of Big Cat Rescue. However, as the show became a global phenomenon in 2020, attention turned towards the mysterious disappearance of Baskin’s ex-husband, Don Lewis, and the financial questions surrounding his death. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what we know about Don Lewis’s wealth and how it may have been linked to his disappearance.
Don Lewis’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
Don Lewis was a self-made millionaire who started his entrepreneurial journey by selling cars. He then diversified his interests to include real estate, animal trading, and even private jets. It was during the early days of Big Cat Rescue that Lewis partnered with Baskin to help rescue and care for big cats. The partnership was beset with issues, and their marriage began to fall apart as Lewis’s business ventures soared.
At the time of his disappearance in 1997, Lewis’s net worth was estimated to be around $5 million. However, there is a belief that he was worth much more due to his shrewd investments and business dealings.
The Mysterious Disappearance
On August 18, 1997, Don Lewis disappeared without a trace. He was last seen leaving his Tampa, Florida home in the early hours of the morning, telling his wife that he was heading to Costa Rica for a business trip. Despite extensive searches and investigations, no trace of Lewis has ever been found, and no one has been charged in connection with his disappearance. Baskin has consistently denied any involvement, and no evidence has ever been found to suggest that she had a hand in her ex-husband’s disappearance.
Theories and Speculation
The mystery surrounding Lewis’s disappearance has led to a plethora of theories and speculation. While some believe that Baskin may have been involved in her then-husband’s death, others think that Lewis may have simply taken off to start a new life and left everything behind. There are even notions that he may have been killed by someone else entirely.
One theory that gained traction in 2020 due to the popularity of Tiger King is tied to Lewis’s business activities, more specifically his involvement in exotic animal trading. According to some reports, Lewis may have been involved in illegal activities surrounding the trade of big cats and other exotic animals, which could have put him in harm’s way.
Another speculation is that Lewis’s financial situation may have played a role in his disappearance. At the time of his disappearance, Lewis was in the middle of divorce proceedings with Baskin, and their property and financial holdings were being divided. Some have suggested that Lewis may have staged his own disappearance to protect his assets from being taken by his ex-wife.
The Legacy of Don Lewis
Despite the questions and speculations surrounding his death, Don Lewis’s legacy lives on through his business ventures and the work he did with exotic animals. While he may be most well-known for his connection to Baskin and Big Cat Rescue, Lewis was a respected figure in the animal trading and conservation world, and his contributions to the industry continue to be felt to this day.
As for the mystery of his death and the questions surrounding his wealth, we may never know the full truth. However, the legacy of Don Lewis serves as a reminder of the complex and often murky nature of business, relationships, and the pursuit of wealth.
In conclusion, the disappearance of Don Lewis remains an enigma, but it has shed light on the importance of transparency in business dealings and financial transactions. Regardless of what did or did not happen to him, his entrepreneurial spirit and contributions to the exotic animal industry will always be remembered.